This recipe was inspired by one of my most recent thrift finds: an olive bowl! A small bowl, painted to look like an olive. The moment I put it in my cart, I knew exactly what recipe I’ll be including it in.
These crispy fried olives are stuffed with sharp cheddar, and covered in a light, airy beer batter. Serve them fresh with cayenne on top for a nice kick, and some salty fried rosemary leaves.
Don’t have any beer in the house? No problem, sparkling water is a great substitute for beer in this scenario.
Crispy Cheddar Rosemary Beer Battered Olives
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 8 minutes
- 226 g (8 oz) green olives, pitted
- 50 g (1.7 oz) sharp cheddar cheese
- 20 g (1/8 cup) all-purpose flour
- 74 g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
- 32 g (1/4 cup) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped (about 1 sprig), plus more sprigs for frying
- 105 g (1/2 cup) light beer or sparkling water, plus more as needed
- A pinch of salt
- Neutral oil for frying
- Cayenne, for dusting
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, or scallions
- 59 g (1/4 cup) Greek yogurt
- 57 g (1/4 cup) mayonnaise
- The juice of 1/2 small lime, about 1 tablespoon
- A pinch of salt
- Crumble or slice the cheese into smaller pieces. Take a piece of cheese and gently push it in inside the olive to stuff it. Add 1/8 cup of flour over the olives, and toss to coat.
- For the batter, add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, black pepper, and chopped rosemary to a mixing bowl. Whisk the dry ingredients, then pour in the beer. Whisk until combined, but don’t overmix, a few lumps are fine. The mixture should have the consistency of pancake batter. If it’s too thick, don’t hesitate to add more water or beer.
- Add the neutral oil to a medium pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add enough oil to the pot to create a 2-inch or 5-cm deep oil bath. Heat until the oil temperature reaches 375°F or 190°C.
- Dip each olive in the batter, then gently place it in the hot oil. Repeat with remaining olives. Don’t overcrowd the pot, fry the olives in a couple of batches. Fry for 5 to 7 minutes, or until golden, flipping halfway through. Lower the heat as needed. Remove the olives from the oil, and place them over a cooling rack, lined with paper towels to drain the excess oil.
- Optionally, fry some rosemary sprigs for a nice herby, crunchy topping. Remove the leaves from the main stem and gently lower them in oil. Careful, they will start sizzling right away. Fry for 15 to 30 seconds and set aside.
- For the dipping sauce, mix all dipping sauce ingredients in a bowl.
- Top the fried olives with a dusting of cayenne, a sprinkle of salt, and fried rosemary leaves. Serve right away.